Collinsville is about an hour Southwest of Bowen on the Bowen Developmental Rd 77 just south of the Conway National Park.
Collinsville has a population of around the 2500 mark and is a thriving small community, Collinsville was originally known as “Moongunya” which is an Aboriginal word that loosely translates into “The place of coal”.
European settlement of this region began in 1861 with the opening of the area to pastoralists (Who are people that can move seasonally with their livestock and livestock generally is their main livelihood), the area was a grazing run for most of these people with the Strathmore Station being the first Station in the district.
In 1865 there were reports of large coal deposits at Moongunya which related in extensive testing in the area.
Coal then was discovered in 1866 but it wasn’t until around 1912 that larger scale mining operations for the time started.
During the 1880’s there were several gold mines in operation at Ukalunda, Mt Wyatt, Normandy and later on at Mt Coolon.
In 1917, the construction of the railway from the coast to the coalfields with the rail finally reaching Collinsville by 1922, there were just over 200 men employed in the coal mine and the towns population was estimated at around the 700 person mark.
By 1921 there was a town starting to develop around the coal mine.
Then the 20th of September 1921 the town was officially renamed “Collinsville” after Charles Collins who was the Labor MLA (MLA stands for Member of the Legislative Assembly) for Bowen from 1915 through to 1936.
The main township of Collinsville was established late 1922, this was when around twenty new homes were erected in the area.
The State School and Police Quarters by this time were already operational as was the general store and the butcher shop.
In the month April in 1923 there was a meeting of the local coal miners to discuss the needs of a having a Hospital and then the work on the hospital began in 1924 after the miners all gave a percentage of their wage and it finally opened in 1926.
Being a mining town Collinsville inevitably had strong and powerful trade unions within the working sites.
By 1960 the Queensland government had closed down the State run mine in the area, claiming that the reason why was that it had experienced a long period of friction with the trade unions.
The mine was then sold to private companies who managed to win a very large contract with Japan and then so, keeping the town economically viable.
An announcement was made in 1964 to build a Powerhouse in Collinsville which was opened in 1967, electricity was then supplied to the local area and was distributed by the Collinsville Electric Authority which was controlled by the Wangaratta Shire Council.
Currently there is 2 mines operating in this area, both are coal mines, the mining in the Collinsville area went through a lull and now is fully operational and producing coal for the worlds markets.
Currently the facilities in Collinsville include two primary schools, a high school, there are four churches, a pharmacy, the district hospital, some basic shops including hardware stores and a lot of sporting facilities.
The sporting facilities in Collinsville include a golf course, the rugby league grounds, tennis courts, a public swimming pool, the squash courts, and the local lawn bowls club.
For the tourists that come to the area there is still a rich history of mining if you visit the Coalface Museum, the annual Moongunya Bush and Craft Festival in October and also the Conway National Park is near too.